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View Full Version : "Budget AR-15" build/K.I.S.S setup (PICS UP POST 15)


bombadillo
04-12-2011, 8:45 AM
Well, I got bored and was going to buy a Kel-Tec SU-16CA for the lightweight sporting rifle. I decided to go the other route and build another AR just because the resale will be higher if I ever decide to sell, and I have a TON of AR-15 stuff laying around that it will all fit. Here is the basic build mostly as cheap as I could find it:

Palmetto State Armory 16" upper: $399
LPK: $50
Buttstock Assembly: $50
TKS Billet lower with integrated trigger guard: $149
Raddlock (newest gen): 35
YHM EZ Takedown pins: 18
Magpul MBUS rear sight: 55


Total: $756 give or take a few bucks. Shipping was less than $20 for everything so if you think that is going to make or break it, not really.

I think this is going to be a great little budget plinker that I can break down, throw in a backpack/Get Home Bag and something that I won't cry if I let it fall or something happens to it and scratches it up pretty good. I may try my hand at cheap Krylon camo and figure out what I like.

The only thing I don't like about it is the BBL profile with the 203 cutout which won't make a difference, but I was going for lightweight so a pencil barrel or something a bit lighter profile may have been better, but a 4150 chrome lined bbl M4 cuts, and looks like decent gear all the way around for $399 is a killer deal. So, my budget of $600 was blown, but I think it is going to be a much better setup than a Kel-Tec even if it is a hair heavier. Can't wait to see what the total weight is with the generic mil-spec 6 pos buttstock and MBUS. Should take down really easily with those pins and be a good little SHTF/Plinker.

Looking at what I spent, I could have dropped the price also by about $140 or so, so if you're looking for a budget AR, talk to me or PM me for more info, but to some of the new guys, you CAN build a plinker grade AR for the ballpark of $600 or a hair more. Cheap carbines are costing quite a bit more than that these days and you can barely buy a dang Saiga for that anymore.

http://www.rainierarms.com/img/shop/product/9099d3e238f51371e3d1637ac2589036.jpg

http://www.rainierarms.com/img/shop/product/bf3ddb1cacddba11ff2c37288c15a97c.jpg

http://http://www.rainierarms.com/img/shop/product/a09409832ae48a1cfba73b4ae8ca2fc5.jpg

http://palmettostatearmory.com/images/2065.jpg

http://palmettostatearmory.com/images/2065c.jpg

http://palmettostatearmory.com/images/2065f.jpg


So, all said and done, we will see how she fires for a cheapo carbine!

arsilva32
04-12-2011, 9:18 AM
well done! and best of all its all metal,no polymer lower for just about the same price

762.DEFENSE
04-12-2011, 9:37 AM
Nice build, I'm curious how the upper turns out.

CK_32
04-12-2011, 9:59 AM
Love that lower.

mlevans66
04-12-2011, 10:33 AM
Nice set up so far. Show us the finished rifle!

evidens83
04-12-2011, 10:40 AM
Nice. I'm diggin that lower.

dieselpower
04-12-2011, 12:57 PM
in 50 years I bet the Kel-Tec SU16CA will be worth twice as much as an AR15. Its a rare rifle. Doesn't matter if we like them or if they explode on contact with air....collectors pay BIG BUCKS for rare guns....

bombadillo
04-13-2011, 11:21 PM
Either way Dieselpower, I for current political climate reasons am going to get the AR. I can sell that NOW rather than 50 years down the road for a profit without a problem.


It looks like its coming along really nice, the lower is where its supposed to be, now I have 10 days of jailtime for it. Upper is in transit (although unfortunately they went up in price) The LPK and Buttstock are also on the way. Only thing in a different package was the Raddlock and EZ takedown pins from another place. We'll see how it all comes together. Looks to be really good for the money though.

k1dude
04-14-2011, 12:52 AM
I paid $500 new for my SU-16CA and it weighs 4.6 pounds. That's pretty tough to beat. I can also use my 30 rounders in it.

I have 4 AR's and 4 AK's. But I'm glad I have that SU-16. Especially for a bug-out weapon.

bombadillo
05-07-2011, 10:38 AM
Can't wait to weigh my carbine after its all done and built. I'm halfway there though!

missiontrails
05-07-2011, 10:40 AM
The TKS looks robust.

bombadillo
05-07-2011, 10:50 AM
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/IMAG0207.jpg

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/IMAG0208.jpg

Here is the Palmetto upper that is going on top of it. Right now I'm deciding whether or not I want to do a full on Marpat home krylon camo job on the thing or leave it black. For resale, black is the way to go, but for what its intended for, Camo is the ticket. It'll also be my first AR to do camo on. So far this build is coming along great. Thanks for the carry handle by a calgunner, and the little rail section that a handstop is going on for the carbine handguards. I'm trying to keep this thing as light as I can without going too chincy.

bombadillo
05-19-2011, 6:22 PM
Well, got the TKS lower today and put it together. Once together, the YHM EZ takedown pin wouldn't go through the hole on the upper without a ridiculous amount of force. I've put together enough of these things to know when something is out of spec. The upper and lower would match up together, but when it was squeezed down all the way, either the upper or the lower was just a hair out of spec. I had to really really force the pin in and had to tap the rear takedown pin out with a punch. I used a rasp to relieve the hole a bit on the upper receiver and took about 5 times, but slowly but surely it went in easier and easier. Its still so tight, that an accuwedge or something similar would be awful hard to put in, but its enough that I can pull the takedown pin out but it takes some muscle still. It fits relatively well now that I relieved some material.

Outside of that, build went flawless. Palmetto roll pins were really easy to install so whoever said they were DPMS was either wrong, or DPMS are making their roll pins a whole lot better. Trigger feels pretty standard for mil-spec, but fairly smooth as well and I'm expecting it to get better once I get a few hundred rounds through it. Fit for everything else was perfect and can't say enough about the Palmetto guys, they really did me well. Pics posted of completed rifle with boonie packer sling attached momentarily.

RMTactical
05-19-2011, 6:23 PM
I like that lower!

bombadillo
05-19-2011, 7:38 PM
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0242.jpg

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0237-1.jpg

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0238.jpg

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0245.jpg




All said and done, it weighs just over 7lbs with the boonie packer TQA-C Tactical sling. I really like that sling as it fits any M4 style rifle with a notch in the back for the sling and it just wraps around the barrel and sling mount point perfectly. If you're really worried about it, you could hook it to a free floated handguard so as not to affect POI, but with irons and my kind of use, I highly doubt I will. Also, the excess material hanging around was to play with till I got it all dialed in to where I wanted it. I cut it with about an inch and a half to spare to be able to fine tune it tighter or looser but it seems to be really good where it is currently. Hope all of you get to experience boonie packer as I think they have the best tactical sling for the money hands down.

762.DEFENSE
05-19-2011, 7:44 PM
I really dig that lower receiver! :thumbsup:

glock7
05-19-2011, 8:18 PM
nice build. i'm waiting on all my stuff. got an lpk coming from palmetto, glad to hear it's a good kit.

mike_the_wino
05-19-2011, 8:40 PM
Palmetto roll pins were really easy to install so whoever said they were DPMS was either wrong, or DPMS are making their roll pins a whole lot better.
I have only built one lower and it was with a DPMS LPK. I will never buy DPMS after that. Gonna have to try PSA.

bombadillo
05-19-2011, 11:19 PM
Now the real question, do I leave it black or do I go with a Multicam krylon camo job???? Decisions decisions.

bombadillo
05-20-2011, 9:32 AM
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0252.jpg
Palmetto's marking on their upper receiver just in case we didn't know. Its also on the plastic buttstock.



http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0253.jpg
Just giving props to Palmetto. They gave their "Premium" BCG which is shot peened, MPI, HPT and full-auto mass. Properly staked gas key and really feel like I got a deal for 4150 steel M4 cuts and standard profile barrel. All this for $399 was a smokin deal IMO.



http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l122/bombadillo08/guns/IMAG0251.jpg

TKS Engineering billet lower. Sweet flag CNC'd into the front mag well. Nice flaring, mags fit snug but still drop free. Feels overbuilt in certain areas around the mag release, and others. Great lower for $150

bombadillo
05-23-2011, 9:43 AM
RANGE REPORT:



5/22/11 I got to take it out and put a couple hundred rounds down. First round I put down I always throw out a Phew of relief after it fires and I have both hands. Got a box of PMC down it first just because it was consistent. I have some 1983 South African Nato stamped rounds that have been REALLY hard primers and wondered how it would do with those. I shot about 60 of them (which were the last thank god) and it cycled through them all but 2 rounds which one wouldn't eject. Seems to be feeding really well, 2 malfunctions but its brand new and honestly I think I need to get her a bit more wet before running her that hard :D

I got that thing nice and hot and sat there with PMC and irons popping round after round at the 200 yard 12" gong all day. Its quite accurate with a 1:7 twist rate shooting 55gr bullets out of it. I was getting fist sized groups at a hundred with PMC and irons on a six inch shoot-n-see. I'm more than happy about that with a 750 dollar gun and cheap ammo. I would like to get a smaller front sight blade and sight black as I was having a difficult time seeing the target well. I haven't shot irons in quite awhile and once I started, it got really fun again and realized what I had been missing. Carry handle I bought here was a bit off but playing with the front sight blade height and lowering the rear sight, I got her all dialed in nicely.

As to the palmetto upper, for $399 I don't think you can find a better upper. 4150cmv Steel, chrome lined 1:7 twist, M4 feedramp cuts (smooth cuts also) shot 43-62gr bullets really well, MPI/HPT bolt and all in all was quite accurate without any magnification or scope.

TKS Lower was awesome, feels great, and love that little flag for grip on the front of the magwell. Love the integrated trigger guard as it just feels a bit more substantial. I wrapped the grip in camo tape to give a thicker palm swell and that helped for my hands.

Lastly, Palmetto LPK went in REALLY smooth. Only thing I could complain about was the upper and lower specs were just the wrong direction of each other. I had the option to either relieve the hole on the rear takedown tab from the upper or the lower itself. I chose to take a rasp to the upper and bring out just maybe 1/64"
of material and tried to keep it really nice and even all the way around. Upper and lower fit TIGHT!!! I put in YHM EZ takedown pins and glad I did because it would be a pain int he butt to punch out the pins over and over if I had to do that. There is Zero slop in the upper/lower fitment and I think if I had taken any more off, there would be some wobble. I may actually do that so I'm not rounding out the holes on the receiver itself over time by taking it down and cleaning it as its putting quite a bit of pressure on it now. Either way, this was the only real complaint of the built but again nothing a rasp and 5 minutes couldn't take care of.

I tapped the rear takedown detent and plugged it with a little set screw as I do with all my builds so springs don't go flying when I take it apart as well. (Best $5 mod you can do to a lower IMO if you're going to be swapping stuff out.

Any questions you guys want to ask RE palmetto, or this build, just ask.

missiontrails
05-23-2011, 9:48 AM
Clean and simple. Palrmetto is a "sleeper" as far as parts go... good quality for low price.. Ya, my M16A4 (err AR15) build was supposed to be KISS......... but I just screwed it up by installing a KAC M5 RAS...........................

OutkastSL
05-23-2011, 10:43 AM
awesome budget build. I really like the flag on the magwell.

Lead Waster
05-23-2011, 10:45 AM
in 50 years I bet the Kel-Tec SU16CA will be worth twice as much as an AR15. Its a rare rifle. Doesn't matter if we like them or if they explode on contact with air....collectors pay BIG BUCKS for rare guns....

Well, his AR will be one of a kind, right?

Flintlock Tom
05-23-2011, 11:07 AM
I tapped the rear takedown detent and plugged it with a little set screw...
Can I ask what size tap and set screw you use for this? And do you shorten the detent spring when you make this mod?
Could you make this same modification on the safety detent as well?

Your build looks well thought out yet simple.
Well done.

bombadillo
05-23-2011, 11:33 AM
Clean and simple. Palrmetto is a "sleeper" as far as parts go... good quality for low price.. Ya, my M16A4 (err AR15) build was supposed to be KISS......... but I just screwed it up by installing a KAC M5 RAS...........................

Oh that wasn't a screw up at all!!! That was a great addition. I would do a rail, but the only one I wanted potentially was on the bottom. I tend to grip the magwell when shooting and use a sling quite a bit off hand so didn't need a fore grip. I only added the rail panel because it was cheap (thanks to a calgunner here) and I may want to add a TLR-1 later on down the road.


Can I ask what size tap and set screw you use for this? And do you shorten the detent spring when you make this mod?
Could you make this same modification on the safety detent as well?

Your build looks well thought out yet simple.
Well done.

Its a 4-40 tap and you can get the 2 or 3mm length plugs on ebay for a couple dollars for 50 of them. If you do this mod, remember LUBE LUBE LUBE LUBE LUBE the thing as you're doing it. I've never stripped one out but I made my own kit for under 10 dollars and got a tap at ACE locally. Bought the plugs and you can even drill it out but I've never found that I've needed to, but I've also lubed liberally. If you need any help doing it, you can get a kit here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=145710

and pictures help me so figured they'd help you. You can buy a "kit" from a calgunner here or make your own for around 10-15 dollars depending on what you get.

missiontrails
05-23-2011, 11:46 AM
Oh that wasn't a screw up at all!!! That was a great addition. I would do a rail, but the only one I wanted potentially was on the bottom. I tend to grip the magwell when shooting and use a sling quite a bit off hand so didn't need a fore grip. I only added the rail panel because it was cheap (thanks to a calgunner here) and I may want to add a TLR-1 later on down the road.




Its a 4-40 tap and you can get the 2 or 3mm length plugs on ebay for a couple dollars for 50 of them. If you do this mod, remember LUBE LUBE LUBE LUBE LUBE the thing as you're doing it. I've never stripped one out but I made my own kit for under 10 dollars and got a tap at ACE locally. Bought the plugs and you can even drill it out but I've never found that I've needed to, but I've also lubed liberally. If you need any help doing it, you can get a kit here: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=145710

and pictures help me so figured they'd help you. You can buy a "kit" from a calgunner here or make your own for around 10-15 dollars depending on what you get.

Ya, I found the M5 for $140 in the wrapper with 14 KAC rail panels and the weenie VG.... I did it only so I sould use the occasional Harris bipod once in a while.....

Quickdraw Mcgraw
05-23-2011, 11:57 AM
in 50 years I bet the Kel-Tec SU16CA will be worth twice as much as an AR15. Its a rare rifle. Doesn't matter if we like them or if they explode on contact with air....collectors pay BIG BUCKS for rare guns....

The rifle would have to last 50 years first!! My buddys front sight was wobbeling off the first 100rds we put thru it!!